What Sort of Europe Does Czechia Need?

Czechia needs Europe to be a continent of free and responsible citizens, who are not only aware of their rights but duties as well. Citizens, who live in sovereign nation states, governed by democratically elected politicians, who in turn are governed by common sense. In all these aspects the current development, led by West European elites, is going in the opposite direction—tendencies to chaperone those deemed not in line are growing, states are increasingly becoming vassals of unelected bureaucratic structures in Brussels, and common sense, grounded in human nature, is in “European” politics indeed hard to find.

Some time ago the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev quipped why it is that the EU is establishing a new Soviet Union. Had he known history of ideas in Western Europe, he would not have had to ask. Neo-Marxist tendencies, forcefully and clearly revealed in 1968, have been dominating Western politics for decades and are gathering strength. The common denominator is equality, the opium of Western intellectuals. This drug has many faces, and feminism along with multiculturalism are among the deadliest. There is an influential theory in political sciences that deems an extremist anybody who refuses to accept equality as a constitutive political principle.

Creeping sovietization of the EU, revealed in the ever louder calling after unity, is a phenomenon whose presence is probably lost on most people in the West. There are a few reasons for this, and absence of experience with communism comes to the forefront. Yet more than half of population in the Czech Republic, Poland, or Slovakia have experienced it and that is why their societies are so sensitive to growing attacks against national and state sovereignty, which are coming from Brussels and from many influential Western politicians.

In 1989, we in Czechia believed that there were free nations and sovereign states in the West and, after decades spent as vassals of the Soviets, we wanted to be among them. Yet we found ourselves, along with them, under the yoke of Brussels bureaucrats, who are bent on settling Muslims and blacks among us against our will. Not even the communists would have dreamt up such a degree of social engineering. It only follows that it is in our sole interest that the power of bureaucrats and fanatical supporters of integration is weakened and the uni cation trend is reversed—the best would be if European Commission, European Court of Justice, and European Parliament ceased to exist. The framework of future cooperation should be the principle of free economic cooperation, which existed within the European Economic Community until 1980s. Coordination of defense and foreign policies within NATO is completely sufficient.

Czechia and the all of Central Europe needs an urgent rehabilitation of common sense, rooted in human nature, in daily politics.

Czechia does not need a “strong” Europe, i.e. the EU. Czechia needs a free Europe without a maze of subsidy channels that brings massive corruption to individual countries, feeding the power of Brussels, which demands ever more authority to investigate. Czechia needs a system of international cooperation where it will be impossible to force weaker and “backward” members to accept a “progressive” agenda of enlightened members. We had had enough of Marxism in forty years under communism.

A traditional argument of Czech Euro-optimists is that we need strong Europe to counter the power of our mighty neighbor. The reality could not be more different. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 the position of Germany has immensely strengthened, not only in economic affairs. Recent journalistic probes have revealed surprisingly dominant position of German offcials on the key positions in European Commission. Without EU, euro, and European subsidies, the Germans would be unable to exert so much pressure on its small eastern neighbors, be it on the migration issue or energy policies.

There Will Never Be a European Demos

A nation state is not a discarded idea, a residue of nineteen century’s nationalism, as it is being put forward by supporters of European superstate. Roger Scruton and other conservative thinkers have proven convincingly that freedom and democracy is able to exist only within the framework of a nation state, in other words, in a community defined by its common language, culture, and history. The so-called democratic deficit in the EU is a euphemism, masking the fact that there has never been a European demos and never will be. Yet it is a fundamental condition for the existence of any euro-democracy. Any further step toward integration means fortification of undemocratic foundations of the EU. Its architect, Jean Monnet, conceived it as a bureaucratic structure that is to replace the—in his opinion—ineffective system of national parliaments. A perfect integration in the form of EU cannot be anything else—as written by a Czech philosopher Rio Preisner—than a totalitarian system.

Czechia also needs Europe that ceases to divide itself into the West and the East (i.e. Russia), and acknowledges that there are a few nations in its midst whose mentality, shaped by their history and culture, neither leans toward an autocratic Russian model nor towards self-destructing Western progressivism. At last in 2015, during the migration crisis, it became apparent that a Central European is much different from a Western European. It is impossible to imagine that a Merkel-type politician would be elected in Czechia to assume power. It is also impossible to imagine that any Western state today would add a constitutional amendment that marriage is solely a bond between a man and a woman, as it happened in Hungary. It is unimaginable that, despite women quotas in politics, feminism there would grow into such a self-destructive force as in Sweden.

It is therefore in the interest of the Czech Republic that (Western Europe) respects the existence of Visegrad Group, the purpose of which should not only be defense against migration pressures but against the export of Western cultural revolution into the Central Europe.

Common Sense Needs to Be Rehabilitated

And last, but not least, Czechia and the all of Central Europe needs an urgent rehabilitation of common sense, rooted in human nature, in daily politics. We need politics and policies that identify and tackle the real problems of our times. We do not need obscure ministries of regional development, sport, women, youth, or consumer protection. We do not need nonsensical ombudsmen, but a functioning system with judges not having been brainwashed by leftist liberal agenda during their studies. We do not need nonsensical anti-smoking and anti-alcohol laws, only effective protection of children and the youth against the consumption of tobacco and alcohol. We need politics and policies that respect people’s privacy and do not snoop on them under various pretenses, that treat citizens as adults and not as children needing a chaperone all the time. We need politics and policies that stop humiliating women and do not destroy freedom by establishing quotas.

Unfortunately, all these conservative desiderata constitute pure utopia in today’s Western political climate. Victorious march of degenerated liberalism through the West is an undeniable fact. In light of it the abovementioned query loses its factual meaning. It would be more apt to ask: What is in store for Central European nations, sandwiched between autocratic Russia and the West that is enslaved by feminism, political correctness, and drenched in guilt?

Aleš Valenta

is a historian, publicist, and political analyst. His professional interests include history of early modern nobility and political history of Habsburg monarchy. He translates from German and English. In cooperation with think tank Institute of Vaclav Klaus, the Mlada fronta publishing house is going to publish his study Germany: Myth and Reality. Politics in German Federal Republic between 1998-2017.

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Current issue - 03/2019

Saving Europe?

Judging from the recent election to the EP, Europe seems to be increasingly fragmented. However, Czechs and Slovaks, the two most Eurosceptic nations in Europe, elected the two most pro-European delegations to the European Parliament in the region. Perhaps we should not panic.

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